Source | www.inc.com |
The more you know about how your brain works and what is happening physically inside your body, the more you can cope with stressful situations.
I have learned this lesson countless times, especially during business trips and when meeting new people or interviewing sources. As a confirmed introvert, I have to manage the negative thoughts that come flooding in, because I’m always analyzing situations and parsing out what people say. It’s a full-time job, and I’m not that gifted at it.
Now, I have a better way to combat the problem.
I’ve been reading a lot about the chemicals in our brains that control behavior. I’ve written many times about dopamine and how positive experiences trigger warm feelings and thoughts. It’s one reason we like to check email, hoping for an encouraging message. It’s also why we check our phones so often for text messages.
Curiously, in studying this topic lately, it turns out there’s a competing chemical called cortisol that is related to your hormones and stress levels.
I find this so fascinating: Cortisol is a chemical in your brain that tends to flow more freely and spurs negative thoughts. Your brain loves cortisol. I’ve read dozens of books and articles about this, so I don’t have one particular source for this information other than my own tacit knowledge and experiences, but there is a war between the wonderful pat-on-the-back of dopamine and the negative slap-on-the-wrist of cortisol.